“I have witnessed situations where in a hospital pharmacy, there is a religious sister there with posters promoting contraception and abortion programmes,” Cikongo lamented.
“Sometimes it is out of ignorance, but many times it's done in good faith or complicity because these programs are funded,” he continued. “If they want their hospital to receive subsidies, they have to accept assistance that includes contraception and abortion.”
The priest further recounted: “Even in the most remote villages, you can find health centers without microscopes but with condoms and contraceptive pills, focusing on fighting against life instead of identifying diseases that people have.”
For Cikongo, part of the solution is to promote the dignity of human life through the message of Humanae Vitae. He called for the translation of the 1968 encyclical letter into local languages and its distribution to promote the sanctity of life in DRC, which he said has suffered from decades of violent conflicts.
“It is a small booklet that will allow us to spread the message because Humane Vitae corresponds with our culture,” he said, adding: “When I talk to an elderly woman in a village about Humanae Vitae, she can relate because that’s how she was raised.”
Cikongo went on to caution: “With the new generations and the influence of the media, if we don't wake up, we will have a society corrupted by the culture of death and the destruction of sexuality and the relationship between a man and a woman.”
“We assert our viewpoints in the face of pressure. The value of sexuality and the value of embracing life are crucial. These are things we need to learn from Humanae Vitae,” Cikongo said.
Cikongo, who spoke at a recent conference on Humanae Vitae in Rome, is expected to hold a conference on the culture of life versus the culture of death in Black Africa later this year in a 15-lecture series.
This story was originally published on ACI Africa, CNA’s partner news agency in Africa. It was adapted by CNA.